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May 6, 2011

Panasonic Viera TC-P50VT25 Review

by Franz Bicar

Expensive sets are usually a turn off for normal users, but for HDTV afficionados, cost is something that can be overlooked. As long as it has excellent performance, accurate colors, and numerous add-ons, then it’s sold. Panasonic’s Viera TC-P50VT25 is one that fits the description. Price is a bit high, but you can’t complain with its excellent shadow detail, accurate primary colors in THX mode, impressive color saturation, and overall great performance.

As mentioned, the TC-P50VT25 is quite expensive, and you can see it through its design alone. Panasonic made sure that you are getting what you are paying for in terms of design and style. The TC-P50VT25 differs from most HDTVs out in the market today. Instead of the black bezel that has become the standard of HDTVs, it has a dark bronze one with silver strips lining the top and bottom edges, just before the gentle, black curve. There’s a tinge of silver on its oval stand, too, which offers swivel capability.

Out of the box, it offers four HDMI inputs and two USB inputs, as well as a PC Input and a LAN Port. The TC-P50VT25 also comes with a decent array of built-in Internet app offerings via VieraCast, its IPTV solution. Included are the usual suspects: YouTube, Picasa, Pandora, Netflix, Fox Sports, Twitter, and Skype.

The TC-P50VT25 produced vibrant, and colorful images, both with HD sources and standard definition content. The TV is indeed very powerful. Panasonic incorporated all sorts of image-quality enhancements on the TC-P50VT25. It also includes a 96Hz refresh rate, which allows the TV to properly handle 1080p/24 content.

As mentioned, even with SD content, colors were bright and dark scenes show up very well. However, there were visible motion artifacts, flicker and judder effects.

Unlike most 3D TVs released by other manufacturers, the TC-P50VT25 includes the necessary glasses which, like all first-generation glasses, will not work with other brands’ 3D TVs. Overall, 3D performance for this set is pretty good. Movies are enjoyable and scenes pop out for a real 3D experience. 3DTV is all about making the viewer feel more involved in the content and the TC-P50VT25 succeeded in that.

Panasonic’s VieraCast feature are a bit limited. You have Pandora, Bloomberg, Amazon Video on Demand, Skype, and Picasa. Twitter is said to be coming soon, so that’s a good addition. Notably, there is no Netflix feature and the only highlight is its Skype feature.

The Panasonic TC-P50VT25 includes three 10W speakers with no voice enhanced feature option for sound. However, volume is sufficient and sound quality is surprisingly good. But as always, if you’re looking for a real cinema experience, separate surround speakers are necessary.



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